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  • Alexis Alvarez

How to Choose Your Wedding Color Palette

Photo: Colby Campbell Photography

It’s one of my favorite parts of the wedding calendar year! Newly engaged couples, bright and excited, starting the very beginning phases of planning their wedding! One of the first conversations many couples have is about their wedding aesthetic and the color palette that they’d like to have. Some couples have a very specific look in mind, but other (usually our math, science, and data people) really struggle in this area.

Let’s start how many colors you need in your color palette. I always recommend 5 to my couples. 3 main colors and 2 pops. The reason for this is that it creates dimension and visual interest without having to invest in additional product.

Now if your style is timeless and elegant and you find yourself leaning towards white and greenery, you might be wondering how this rule applies to you. These 5 colors can come in the form of shades of one another. White can be stark white, it can be ivory, it can be cream, it can be blush, it can be slightly grey. Using a mix of tones will help create harmony in your design!

So let’s talk about HOW to choose your wedding color palette.

SPOILER ALERT: there’s no right or wrong way to do this, but here are some approaches you could take!


When you’re not a particularly creative person, sometimes finding the right venue first is the best approach. If you’ve done any Chicago wedding venue shopping at all, you’ve probably already started to notice that whether you have a palette selected or not, you can see where the space you’re in leans OR what it needs.

For example, if your venue is all clean lines, white walls and glass, you might want to bring in some bold color to help visually fill up the space OR if your venue has stylistic features built in, it might make more sense to lean into the style of the space and work with what already exists.


This is the area I think people most often lean when trying to decide their color palette. If you’re getting married in Spring, we’re talking fresh pastels. Summer, bold + bright color. Fall, moody + earthy tones. Winter, deep and rich tones.

But what if you’re getting married in the Summer for that incredible Chicago summer sun and you hate bright colors? This might not be the road for you then!


When I work with couples who are in the beginning stages of planning their wedding, I always like to start by asking questions about their comfort level with color. Are you afraid of bold colors and patterns? Are there colors that you hate? Do neutrals feel boring to you? If you’re totally stuck on what to do with color palette, look around your home and in your closet! I bet if you look close enough, you’ll find at least one color that is constant in your style and then you can build from there with the help of the color wheel.

Which brings me to my last approach…


Ok, so let’s say you’ve picked on color that you have in your closet that you LOVE but don’t know how to style it, this is where color theory (you have no idea how much of a geek I am for color theory) comes into play!

I’m also a big fan of not recreating the wheel, so here’s a crash course from our friends at Canva in all things Color Wheel + Color Theory!

Again, there’s no right or wrong way to choose your color palette for your wedding, but this can really be a barrier to some couples in getting started in their wedding plans. If you need more help on the creative element of your wedding plans, reach out to our team! We’ll nerd out about color theory so you don’t have to!

Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner?


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